Saturday, July 04, 2020

Manchester Preserve (Encinitas Hike)

To avoid the crowds on July 4th, we went hiking at the Manchester Preserve instead. This is the first time that my wife and I have visited the preserve created in 1996 to mitigate the habitat loss of the surrounding residential development in our town.

The 123 acres of open space rises up from the nearby San Elijo Lagoon to the highest elevation of 275 feet. The trail head starts at a small dirt parking lot and climbs up into the Manchester Canyon that is covered with Coastal Sage Scrub and Southern Maritime Chaparral. It is part of the Escondido Creek Watershed that travels all the way past Lake Wohlford in Valley Center.

There was a lot of of blooming wildflowers as Chad, Tori and I climbed the northern ridge along the Powerline Trail. At the top, there was a couple benches with a great view of the entire canyon. Tori completed her daily hand stands before we continued on.

Manchester Preserve was pretty empty and we only encountered one trail runner and another family traveling in the opposite direction on our entire hike.

After descending back into the valley floor along the Sage Trail, we turned right and headed up the other side of the canyon wall on the Gnatcatcher Trail. The trail is named after the endangered California Gnatcatcher songbird that is native to Southern California.

There are over four total miles of trails and we ended up hiking two miles of it in just over an hour by the time we returned to my truck on Manchester Avenue.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

High Tide at Stonesteps Beach

On my evening walk along Neptune Avenue, I stopped at Stonesteps Beach to take some pictures of the High Tide.

I barely missed getting soaked by the wave hitting the stairs in the last photo.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub (plus High Tide at Cassidy Street Beach)

We went out for our first dinner as coronavirus restrictions have been easing at restaurants. Back in March, Tori had wanted to go out for a sushi for her birthday dinner but we had to postpone during the shutdown. After a beer at the PCH Sports Bar, we walked over to eat at the Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub in Oceanside for the first time. I had the Stone Soup Ramen and shared the Hedgehog and Hawaiian rolls with Tori. (The purple cauliflower in the ramen had a nice BBQ flavor.) We also ordered a plate of Nigiri, the Whitefish with Ponzu and Scallion, that had a great flavor.

After dinner, we walked down to the Cassidy Street Beach. It was a scenic spot at Lifeguard Tower 15 with the sun beginning to set. It was high tide and the small surf was pounding against the rocks at the bottom of the stairs.

This is the second time in a row that we have come to the beaches in South Oceanside and the tide was too high to go for a walk on the sand. Two weeks ago we tried to walk North from Carlsbad into Saint Malo Beach but we were not able to go far due to the tide. This time, we thought we would be able to walk South from Cassidy Street over the same stretch of beach but it was not to be. I didn't mind though because the view was spectacular.

Leaving the beach, we walked south down the length of South Pacific Street and came back along the raised pedestrian walkway on the other side. We passed the Cassidy Street Bridge that was built back in 1927. While the old bridge is in poor condition that forbids car traffic, it is still open for Pedestrians to cross.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

AcroYoga - Naked Biglemoi Washing Machine

On Saturday, Tori and I were finally successful with the Naked Biglemoi washing machine. Created by Jacob Brown and Debbie Collis, it combines the Naked Singularity, Rotisserie and Big Lemoi washing machines. After practicing rotating three times in the same direction on each side, we combined both sides sides together to complete the symmetrical pattern seen in the video below. You can see that we almost lost it in the middle of the third rotation, but we saved it! Ha!

Tori and I practicing the Naked Biglemoi washing machine at the park atop the cliff at Swami's Beach. The name of the tiki head art piece behind us is Easter Island Head II and was carved from an old tree by Tim Richards in 2018. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day - Walk on Saint Malo Beach

On Memorial Day, Tori and I went for a walk on Saint Malo Beach in South Oceanside. It was high tide so we had to run between the beach stairs to escape the waves. The wood-shingled houses along this shore were built to mimic the ones on the island of Saint Malo off the Normandy coast of France. They are part of the first gated community in San Diego. Built in the 1920’s, the beach houses were a getaway for the wealthy elite of Los Angeles. Harpo Marx and Al Capone were among the notable guests.

Saint Malo Beach is just north of the outlet to the Buena Vista Lagoon that separates the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad. This used to be a saltwater lagoon but it changed to freshwater after the Saint Malo community built a small dam in the 1940's to block its connection to the ocean. There is debate on whether it should be returned to its original brackish state like the region's other lagoons but no decision has been made. The lagoon is home to the Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center and is California's first Ecological Reserve in 1968. While the Carlsbad City Beach was completely open to sun bathers, the Carlsbad State Beach was restricted to walking and water sports only due to the Coronavirus. You can see the difference in the crowds in the two photos I took below.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

AcroYoga - Base View Photography

I have always enjoyed the Base View angle with AcroYoga photos since it mimics what I see from below. Here are some photos of Tori and I playing around with different poses in the park, starting with variations of Straddle Bat.

Tori and I are very comfortable in Croc pose but it is much harder to balance when I need to switch focus to take a photo with the iPhone in my hands. The first two are of regular Croc on my inside legs and the third is Funky Croc in the outside position. The pose really popped when I rotated the photo.

Taking the photos with the fill flash really helped against the back light from the sun. This is a silly pose that I call Sideways Bird since I don't know it's true name.

The Jacaranda Trees in the neighborhood were in full bloom with their gorgeous purple flowers so we decided to take some more Base View photos underneath one of them. We started out with Bird, Straddle Throne and Side Star poses.

Here is a funny sequence of photos as Tori tried to recover her sunglasses as she jumped up into Reverse Star. In the third, I am helping adjust her glasses with my finger. 

These two Mono Reverse Stars with Tori balancing on each leg were shot automatically with the GoPro at my side. It takes a lot of concentration to hold this pose so I didn't feel confident trying to take the photos holding my iPhone at the same time.

We don't know the name of this modified Side Star but I included a video below showing how we got into the pose.

We went to the park atop the cliff at Swami's Beach and took a few more Base View photos beneath the tiki head carved from an old tree. The name of the art piece is called Easter Island Head II and was carved by Tim Richards in 2018.  He carved the smaller one in the background of the first picture in 2011.